The U.S. Department of Commerce’s National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has signed a collaborative research and development agreement with Google to develop and manufacture chips used in the development of new nanotechnology and semiconductor devices.
Google covers the initial costs of setting up production and subsidizes the first production run, according to the agreement. NIST will design the chip circuit with the support of university partners.
SkyWater Technology will produce the chips as 200-millimeter patterned silicon discs for universities and other buyers. This enables the universities to dice the discs into thousands of individual chips at their own processing facilities.
They intend to develop up to 40 different chips for different applications using open sources, reduce chip prices, and ease financing and licensing problems, which are major obstacles to innovation for universities and startup researchers.
In addition, the collaboration will lead to a more advanced lower-layer chip with specialized structures to measure and test the performance of the components placed on it.
According to Will Grannis, CEO of Google Public Sector, moving to an open-source framework promotes replicability, enabling researchers from public and private institutions to iterate each other’s work while democratizing innovation in nanotechnology and semiconductor research.
The sources for this piece include an article in ZDNet.